Early Spring

Northern cardinal.

Neotropical migrants won’t begin arriving on the scene for a month or more. However, our local year-round resident birds have the jump on those mainly insectivorous migrants. Some of the locals like cardinals, towhees, brown thrashers, Carolina wrens and others are in full song and some are building or investigating nest sites.

American robin numbers are increasing, and keep an eye out for cedar waxwings on any shrubs or trees that still have fruit, like holly or red cedar.

Northern cardinals may break into song on any given day throughout the winter months, but the competition is thick at this time of year when many males can be heard on a typical stroll through our campus. By the way, females also sing.

You may even hear a hermit thrush, ruby-crowned kinglet, or white-throated sparrow practice their songs before leaving us for more northern climes in the near future.

American robin after cedar berries.
Robin attacking holly berries.
Look for robins in groups on lawns. It’s worms they’re after here.
Brown thrasher in song.
Tufted titmouse’s clear whistled three or four note songs are very evident at this time.
Eastern bluebirds are checking out their nest boxes.
Mourning doves may nest in any month of the year in our area.
A most elegant bird, cedar waxwing.
Look for waxwings on holly or cedar, or any berry laden tree or shrub.
Carolina wrens sing all year, but the pace is picking up.
Eastern Phoebes nest under our boardwalk each year.
Eastern towhees are gearing up for the nesting season.
Red-shouldered hawk delivering snake to mate.

Carolina chickadee, brown-headed and white-breasted nuthatches, song sparrows, and the rest of our local avian residents are feeling the urge. If you need more proof of spring’s arrival, today I saw a red-shouldered hawk pass off what looked like a brown snake to its mate.

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